Family Forced to Sign Release in the Case of Prison Interrogation Death
Gohar Eshghi, Sattar Beheshti’s mother, told the Campaign that she is requesting an in-person meeting with Sadeq Larijani, Head of the Iranian Judiciary, so that she may talk to him about the investigations into her son’s death. “I would like to ask Mr. Larijani and the Tehran Prosecutor to give me an appointment so that I can directly talk to them about my son’s death. I am a mourning mother, I implore them to give me an appointment. I don’t want another Sattar to happen; I beg all authorities to pursue my child’s death and not to let his spilled blood be in vein…I want nothing other than for those responsible for my son’s murder to be punished,” Gohar Eshghi told the Campaign.
Reacting to statements made by authorities about Sattar Beheshti’s death due to natural causes or illness, Gohar Eshghi said, “I don’t believe this for a moment. Sattar was 35 and healthy. He did not have a heart condition to have a heart attack as they say, nor did he have any other problems. They took my son on a Tuesday and on the next Tuesday they said to come and take his body. How can I believe that his was a natural death?”
“If he died a natural death, why didn’t they allow us to wash [his dead body] ourselves, so that we ourselves could carry out his entire burial ceremony? Why did they threaten my daughter, telling her, ‘If you have no mercy on yourself, you should at least have mercy on your 6-month-old baby?’ Why didn’t they let me see my son’s face for the last time? Only one of our kin was able to see Sattar and said that his shroud was bloody in the lower area of his legs and that his body was bruised,” said Gohar Eshghi.
“I want to tell those doctors that wrote Sattar died of natural causes that they must remember the Day of Judgement. They are lying and I do not accept what they are saying at all,” said Gohar Eshghi. “They tell me not to interview. I tell them that I am no longer fear anything. I will not let my son’s blood be spilled in vein. I tell them I will keep giving interviews until I get my answer,” she added.
Asked whether she agreed to the summary funeral of her son without objecting to being kept from seeing him for the last time, Gohar Eshghi said, “Everything happened so fast. The forces did everything. The forces even carried the body and my daughter and I only chanted La Ilaha Illa Allah [There is no God but Allah]. They didn’t allow us to do anything. I begged them to allow me to see my son for the last time, but they didn’t accept it. They said that the shroud could only be opened inside the grave. I never saw my son for the last time. The entire prayer and burial took half an hour.”
“I thank all the authorities who have so far followed my son’s case and ask them to endeavor until this case is clarified,” said Gohar Eshghi.
On Thursday, November 22, the Tehran Prosecutor published a statement about the Medical Examiner’s report, emphasizing that the most likely cause of Sattar Beheshti’s death could be “shock,” but did not offer further information. “On November 11, 2012, we received the opinion from the Medical Examiner’s Toxicology and Pathology Department, in which the existence of any medicine or poison in the body of the deceased was refuted. In the November 14 opinion it was announced that during the physical examination, few bruises on their way to absorption on the torso and lower extremities, and abrasions in the anterior left calf were observed. Announcement of the cause of death is pending judicial investigations.” In the latest opinion from the seven-member Medical Commission (the Medical Examiner’s specialist physicians) which was issued on November 20, 2012, it is stated that, “At this time, in view of the performed examinations and with the available information, determination of the definitive cause of death is not medically possible, but as no reason or evidence of illness leading to death was observed during the examination of the corpse and the supplementary investigations, the most likely cause of death can be the phenomenon of shock, which if verified, could be caused by a blow or blows on sensitive areas of the body or through severe psychological pressure.”